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Royal Caribbean allows cancellations up to 48 hours before sailing due to Coronavirus outbreak

In:
Category: 
06Mar2020

Royal Caribbean announced its "Cruise With Confidence" policy allows guests on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea to cancel up to 48 hours before a sailing. 

Guests will receive a full credit for their fare, usable on any future sailing of the guest's choice in 2020 or 2021. The policy applies to both new and existing cruise bookings.

The policy applies to all cruises with a sailing date on or before July 31, 2020, and will be offered by the company's global brands: Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara and Silversea. 

All Cruise with Confidence Future Cruise Credits must be redeemed on sailings departing on-or-before December 31, 2021.

"Our previous policy set earlier deadlines for guests to cancel their cruises, and that added unnecessary stress," said Richard Fain, the company's chairman and CEO. "Trying to guess a month or more in advance where areas of concern about coronavirus might be is challenging for medical experts, much less a family preparing for vacation.

"When circumstances are as fast-changing as they have been recently, it's good to know you have the option to take a rain check," Fain said. "We think putting more control in our guests' hands helps them make informed decisions about whether to keep their existing vacation plans or trade out for a more convenient time or itinerary."  

Royal Caribbean announced yesterday it will conduct mandatory temperature screenings on embarkation day to better screen guests against the spread of Coronavirus.

Spotted: Fast Track priority boarding

In:
31Jul2019

Guests sailing on Symphony of the Seas this week noticed a new option to allow select guests faster boarding back onboard their Royal Caribbean ship.

Known as Fast Track, the program is available in the ports of call the ship visits and allows for expedited boarding for guests who are in any of these groups:

  • Star and Sky Class Guests
  • Pinnacle Members in Crown and Anchor Society
  • The Key guests
  • Assistance Needs
  • Families with infant strollers

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Lovetocruise2002 spotted this on the current Symphony of the Seas sailing.

Fast Track was advertised in the Concierge Lounge on Symphony of the Seas, as well as on the front page of the Cruise Compass.

Royal Caribbean offers new travel protection option for New York state residents

In:
Category: 
13Mar2019

Guests residing in New York State may no longer purchase Royal Caribbean Travel Protection/CruiseCare.  

As of February 5, 2019, Royal Caribbean stopped offering its form of travel insurance to New York Residents due to New York State regulations which applied to companies selling travel insurance. 

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd partnered with Aon, the service provider, to offer an alternative travel protection program for residents of all states, including New York, via www.travelcruisecare.com. This is effective and available immediately.

If a guest had Royal Caribbean Travel Protection/CruiseCare added to their reservation on 2/14/19 or prior, the benefit will be honored even if the Royal Caribbean Travel Protection / CruiseCare has not been paid in full. 

This new program can be purchased through www.travelcruisecare.com and will require 100% payment upfront. The certificate of insurance may look slightly different for the new product, but there will not be any other differences that would impact the guest experience.

Royal Caribbean now allowing guests to bring non-alcoholic beverages onboard

In:
Category: 
28Aug2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its non-alcoholic beverage policy for guests, beginning on September 1st, 2018.

Guests bringing small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages onboard are now required to do so in a carry-on or hand luggage, rather than in a checked bag.

The cruise line announced that guests will be able to bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. Checking in non-alcoholic beverages will no longer be permitted.

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard any cruise ship, with the exception of being able to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.

Royal Caribbean prohibits emotional support animals from its cruise ships

In:
Category: 
14Aug2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its policy regarding emotional support animals by announcing that effective immediately, emotional support animals may not sail onboard Royal Caribbean International ships. 

The cruise line cites that emotional support animals are not recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

All Emotional Support Animals noted on reservations prior to July 30, 2018 are protected and will be allowed to sail. A notation advising of a protected emotional support animal will be placed on the reservation by the Access Department.

Royal Caribbean joins Southwest Airlines, which also announced today, it will restrict emotional support animals on its airplanes.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement regarding the change and why it was implemented, "We are updating the policy to differentiate emotional support animals from service animals that are trained to perform a function for a person with a disability.  It is important to us that all our guests enjoy their vacation, which is why we put into practice this new policy.  Royal Caribbean’s policy remains the same for service animals traveling with guests that have a physical or non-physical disability.

Moving forward, emotional support animals cannot be added to existing or new reservations.  Confirmed guests who already have emotional support animals noted in their reservation will be permitted to bring the animal."

Royal Caribbean announces enhanced online check-in process

In:
07Aug2018

Royal Caribbean announced today an easier online check-in process that aims to cut down the check-in process by 25%.

Guests will be asked to enter fewer data fields and can apply information, like credit card data, to multiple parties on their reservation. These improvements help guests move through the check-in process faster and easier.

The new online check-in features:

  • Fewer steps needed for check-in completion
  • Option to check in one person or your entire party simultaneously
  • Ability to edit previously entered information without repeating any steps
  • Easy add-guest or remove-guest functionality from check-in process
  • The ability to stop and save at any point
  • Easily pick up where you left off on either the website or the Royal Caribbean mobile App check in
  • Convenient digital SetSail pass for mobile use at terminal

The new online check-in process is already available for sailings onboard Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Grandeur of the Seas. Royal Caribbean plans to expand this functionality to other ships "in the near future".

Guests can check-in from 90 days to 72 hours prior to the sail date. If a guest misses the check-in window, the guest has the option to check-in at the Port.

Royal Caribbean will stop using plastic straws by end of 2018

In:
08Jun2018

All of Royal Caribbean's cruise ships will eliminate the use of plastic drinking straws by the end 2018 in an effort to reach a comprehensive plastics elimination program.

The policy will be mirrored with sister brands Celebrity Cruises, Azamara Club Cruises, TUI Cruises, and Pullmantur Cruceros.

Royal Caribbean has already implemented a "straws upon request" policy, and this new policy will go a step further to eliminate the plastic option all together. That program will be taken a step further by the start of 2019, when guests requesting a straw will receive a paper straw instead of a plastic one. Guests also will begin seeing Forrest Stewardship Council-certified wood coffee stirrers and bamboo garnish picks as part of the plastic reduction strategy.

After straws, stirrers and picks, the company's next efforts will focus on other single-use plastics such as condiment packets, cups, and bags. A full plastics audit is underway, with the overall plan to be completed in phases by 2020.

Royal Caribbean cuts down on use of drink straws onboard its cruise ships

In:
21May2018

Guests sailing on Royal Caribbean may notice their next round of cocktails will not served with a plastic straw by default.

The cruise line has begun cutting back on the use of plastic straws, citing the negative environmental impact straws can have on the ocean.

Photo by Kathy Constantine from Adventure of the Seas

Photo by Nick Vitani on Enchantment of the Seas

Signs posted at bars around many ships indicate that when a guest orders a drink, they will not receive a straw automatically.  Guests may receive a straw upon request from any server.

Royal Caribbean's Save the Waves program began in 1992 as an effort to help protect the ocean ecosystem, and this new policy regarding drink straws is another step towards minimizing ocean pollution.

Royal Caribbean updates bringing a drone policy

In:
Category: 
18Apr2018

Royal Caribbean has updated its policy on guests bringing drones onto a Royal Caribbean cruise ship.

Royal Caribbean states guests may bring drones on their cruise to be used on land only, and outside the port area.  Drones may not be operated onboard the ship at any time, nor on Royal Caribbean’s private destinations: CocoCay, Bahamas or Labadee, Haiti.

Previously, Royal Caribbean's policy was to store the drone for guests and then allow guests to take the drones off the ship while in port.

Royal Caribbean does warn guests that if they use a drone in port, they assume full responsibility for its safe operation.

"Guests assume full responsibility for understanding all local authority rules related to drone usage and for obtaining any required permissions for drone operations. Different countries may have different rules. Any liability, including environmental damage from drone usage is the guest's responsibility. Royal Caribbean assumes no liability for guest drones that may be confiscated by local authorities for violating local laws or for any accident or injury resulting from a guest drone flight."

Thanks to Fred Block for the heads up on this change!

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